Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vacation to: Turks and Caicos, Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

Another wonderful trip....

The Carnival Destiny

If the favourite part of your vacation is lounging on the beach then you should definitely consider a cruise that stops in Turks and Caicos and Half Moon Cay. Cruises are a great way to visit numerous destinations on one trip while also having the luxury of fine dining, entertainment and so much more!

 My trip aboard the Carnival Destiny last November stopped in Half Moon Cay, Turks and Caicos and Nassau and we spent the entire 5 days of the cruise relaxing and indulging.


 We  spent the first three days prior to the cruise exploring all Miami has to offer, shopping, touring and enjoying the night life.

Shopping in Miami
One of my favourite malls in Miami is Dolphin Mall. They have a wonderful outdoor food court with live music and many good restaurants to choose from. The mall also has a lot of great stores. Some of the other malls I stopped at and are worth visiting are:
-Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise Florida
-Bayside Marketplace
-Miami International Mall
-West Land Mall
If you want to do some sightseeing in Miami and plan to visit a number attractions then it is a good idea to purchase the Miami Go Card. It allows you to pay one price and gives you access to all attractions. Purchasing this card saves you a lot of money.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Picture I took at Vizcaya Museum
Vizcaya gardens
One of the most beautiful attractions that we visited when we were in Miami was the Vizcaya Museum. The museum was built in 1916 and has rooms upon rooms filled with beautiful art, furniture and luxuries. Walking around this beautiful museum and its ten acre garden transports you into another era. Vizcaya is a wonderful place to take stunning photos.

Duck Tours

Biscayne Bay Miami
 One of the tours we took was the Duck Tours which was a tour aboard an enormous bus resembling a duck. The tour took us through the streets of Miami’s beautiful art deco buildings, past the mansions of the rich and famous, through South Beach and then we drove right into the Biscayne Bay as our tour bus became a boat.  This tour was a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it.

South Beach

I have been to South beach many times and aside from the beach itself it’s a good place to have lunch and dinner, go bar hopping and do some shopping.

Jungle Island

Liger: Half tiger half lion breed
I visited Jungle island as one of my last sightseeing destinations and it left much to be desired. The attraction was within a very small space and it didn't see like the animals had adequately spaced enclosures in my opinion. The shows were also horrible and poorly hosted. If it wasn’t for the Miami Go Card we purchased the price to get into this attraction was overpriced.

Cruise on the Carnival Destiny
The Carnival Destiny: on deck
After our three days in Miami we boarded the Carnival Destiny and began our fun filled cruise. I won’t go into all the details about the ship but I will give you a quick break down of what I thought.

The Carnival Destiny was rather old and in need of some repairs, although the colors were not that bad the staterooms were shabby and in need of renovation. The amenities were less than what I expected but they did have the basics such as: pools, hot tubs, water slide, night clubs, casino, bars and lounges, theatre, mini golf, basketball court, ping pong, formal dining and shows and productions. The food was average, to me the cusine lacked flavour but there were a lot of food options so it wasn’t difficult to find something likable. The entertainment was mediocre, the comedy shows were good but the musical productions were a bit repetitive with the other Carnival ships I have been on.

Turks and Caicos

The best thing about this cruise was the ports we stopped at. Turks and Caicos was beautiful and the beach was amazing. There wasn’t much to do on the island except lounge around and relax which was perfectly fine with me.
Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The water was crystal clear, the sand was powdery white and soft and it was a sunny beautiful day. There is nothing on to do on the island except shop in the small sting of souvenir stores and swim in the warm ocean. We did not want to leave this island, it was like being in paradise. Because there were no restaurants on this private island the cruise line had a barbeque with tons of food. They also had a live Dj playing music as we swam and lounged around.  This stop was the epitome of relaxation and beauty.

Nassau Bahamas

The last stop we made was to Nassau in the Bahamas. This was the second time I had been to Nassau, I had previously spent a week there and I did write about it in a previous blog. We didn`t have very much time at this stop just enough time to shop, enjoy some food and music and go swimming at the beach.

 I had a wonderful time on this trip and I am anxiously awaiting the next one...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skin Care

Face cleansing.

Everyone wants healthy fresh looking skin and there are small things you can incorporate into your weekly routine to maintain nice healthy looking skin. I`m going to write about what I do to keep my skin healthy clean and fresh looking and maybe some of these techniques will work for you.

1. The first thing I do is clean my face with an exfoliating towelette. I use the Eqaute towelettes.
They are great for removing makeup.

2.The next thing I do is use a facial Tonner. Facial tonners are great at removing the extra makeup or dirt that you can`t see and that washing alone doesn’t get rid of. It also works to suck up some of the oil and prepare your face for cleaning. There are a number of great face toners on the market, I don`t have a preferred brand but I often use the one from Nivea.

3.Next I use a face wash. I usually use the Clean and Clear foaming facial cleanser that is medicated to help kill bacteria. I also use the Clean and Clear Continuous Control acne wash that deep cleanses. I don`t get acne break outs but I figure there is nothing wrong with preventing the odd pimple you get every now and then. You can use whatever brand of face wash works for you.

4.After washing my face with my face wash I do a  face steam. You can buy a facial steamer at places like Walmart or Target and certain department stores. Facial steamers are a great way to open up your pores and they allow you to get the most benefit from your other skin care products. I find that using a facial steamer makes your skin look healthier and feel softer. If you don’t have a facial steamer you can use a wash cloth or small towel, heat the towel up under hot water and then apply the towel to your face and hold it there until the towel gets cool. You can do this 2-4 times for a good facial steam. If you try this please use whatever temperature works for you and be careful not to burn your skin.

5.After steaming my face I apply a facial mask usually a mud mask. I use the dead sea mud pac from Montagne Jeunesse which draws out impurities, opens up the pores and leaves the skin feeling cleansed and soft. It says to leave it on for 10-15 minutes. I get this mask at Walmart. You can also buy other facial masks if you don`t prefer the mud masks or you could make your own at home. I have made an avocado face mask and it worked very well at leaving my skin soft. All I did to make the avocado face mask was mash up a ripe avocado and add a drizzle of olive oil. There are tons of other recipes you can try.

6. After I wash off the face mask I exfoliate using my St Ives apricot face scrub. Gently exfoliate the face and rinse with warm water.

7. The last step is moisturizing my skin. You can use whatever face cream you favour, there are many great face creams out there by companies like Olay, Nivea, and Clinique. You can also try moisturizing using Vaseline. It's said that Vaseline is great for the face without clogging pores and causing acne while leaving your skin very soft. It is also said that if you apply it to your eye lashes overnight it moisturizes them and helps them grow. I have been doing this for months and I have noticed that when I apply Vaseline to my face before bed in the morning my skin looks really good.

 This cleansing process is something I do at least once per week. For everyday face care I usually just use a toner, face wash and moisturizer before bed.

Here are some other helpful tips
 *Always remove makeup at the end of the day, makeup can clog pores

*Always clean your face at the end of the day whether you wear makeup or not

*If you have sensitive skin make sure to test any new products on a small area of skin before using it all over your face so you know if it`s safe for your skin type

*Use products that are suited to your skin type whether you have oily, acne prone, dry or sensitive skin.

*Always use a good moisturizer and try to find a daily moisturizer that offers UV protection

*If you wear makeup it`s a good idea to try and find a foundation that has some SPF protection

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Some of my favourite things...

Awesome products
Here are some of my favourite products that I wanted to share with everyone. The prices I gave are approximations of what I purchase my products for but prices may vary depending on location.

Maybelline Baby Lips
This product claims to provide hydration to your lips and visibly renewed lips in 4 weeks. I love this lip balm. Not only is it creamy but it makes your lips feel soft and provides relief from dryness and harsh weather. For me one application lasts a long time and I love the cute packaging. The balms come in clear and a variety of subtle shades for those who want a slight tint. This product sells for aprox $3.96

I love this Macadamia Deep Repair Mask for hair. I did a lot of research on it before I purchased it because it cost $37.00 including tax here in Toronto which is a rather pricey for a small jar. It makes my hair feel very soft, light and silky and you only need very little product to achieve results. It also makes your hair smell very nice and is great for dry, damaged hair. Switching between this and the Nexxus Humectress deep conditioner every few days I think I found the two best conditioners I have ever used on my hair. This hair mask is made with argon oil, tea tree, chamomile, aloe and algae and it’s thick and extremely creamy. The product says it will revitalize and reconstruct your hair and sometimes spending the extra money is worth it if the product is
The Cortex Platinum Collection Black Series Flat Iron I love this flat iron. It has 100% ceramic plates that helps eliminate frizz and comes in a variety of colors including black, red and the pink-which I have. This flat iron boasts negative ion technology which helps stop the growth of bacteria and fungi resulting in a healthier scalp and hair. It is a Tourmaline flat iron that distributes heat across the hair evenly which acts to reduce heat damage. I also find that the plates glide easily through hair without pulling and snagging. Since I have started using this flat iron I can`t use any other. This flat iron sells for about $90.00 but I found mine at Winners for $39.99
The Schick Quattro For women Trim Style Razor: I got this razor as a gift and have been using it ever since. The razor has 4 blades and two pads that help moisturize and glide over the skin. It also has a pivoting head to help you glide effortless around your curves and comes in a variety of nice colors. I dislike disposable razors because they tend to be harsh on my skin and cut me easily. They also don`t give the best shave. This razor gives a close smooth shave and I love that it comes with a holster so you can keep the razor in its holder right in the shower. I also like that it has a handy little trimmer at the end that is battery operated. The refills are a bit expensive at $20.00 for 8 blades but the blades last a long time and because you don’t have to replace them as often it is worth the money. The razor itself cost about $11-13 dollars.
**quick tip: if you shave your legs with your hair conditioner in a hot steamy shower, the heat opens up the hair follicles allowing for a better shave and the hair conditioner leaves your skin incredibly

Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash
This is my favourite body wash and believe me when I say I have tried them all! I love this body wash because I find that most bar soaps dries out my skin, and this body wash leaves my skin soft and clean. I also like that this product has exfoliating beads but my favourite thing about it is that it lathers like no other! With just a tiny drizzle on a bath puff this product foams up and engulfs you in suds. It also smells very fresh. It cost aprox $9-$10 for a large bottle.

Equate Cleansing Facial Towelettes:
I don’t really like taking off my makeup at the end of the day, but I know I have to, to maintain healthy skin. These facial towelettes are great at removing makeup and exfoliating your skin. I have been using them for years. You can buy the plastic container for about $6 and after that you can buy the refills for the container at about $9 for two packs at Walmart; there are 60 towelettes per pack.

St Ives Apricot Scrub:
To help maintain healthy skin it`s a good idea to exfoliate and St Ives Apricot Scrub is my favourite. The scrub comes in a few different textures in case you want a lighter exfoliate and have sensitive skin. It`s about $5-6 dollars a tube at Walmart.

Salley Hansen Air Brush Legs:
Very few of us have perfect skin, and sometimes we have a few imperfections that we want to smooth out. This product is great at giving you a more even tone on your legs. It comes in a variety of shades and doesn’t rub off on your clothes. It cost about $11 per can. You can get it at stores like Walmart, Target, The Bay and certain department stores in the pantyhose section.

Bath and Body Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel:
Hand sanitizers and gels have become quite popular these days in an effort to prevent the spread of germs and illness. I love having my Bath and Body Anti-Bacterial Gel in my purse in case I need to sanitize on the go. Some of the great features of this product are that it is small, compact and comes in a variety of scents that smell amazing! My favourite scent is Twilight Woods. They are $2 each at Bath and Body stores.

Dr. Scholl`s Fast Flats:
How many times have you worn the wrong shoes to a club, party or event that left your feet aching? These cute flats are a great solution. When I`m going out and wearing heels I always carry them in my purse just in case. They come with a small gold carrying case and they fold up so they don`t take up much room in your bag. Although I like these shoes, they are only to be worn in emergencies and not as regular shoes because the soles aren`t thick enough to provide adequate protection. They cost about $10 at Walmart. You can also get them at Shoppers Drug Mart and a variety of other stores.

Makeup Kaboodle:
If you are like me and love makeup kaboodles are a great way of organizing and storing your make up or nail polish. I got mine at Walmart for about $20 and they are great for taking all your makeup and products with you on short trips.

Coastal Scents 88 Shimmer Palate:
As I said I love makeup and changing up my look. This shimmer Palate is amazing because it gives you a gradient of colors with a wide range! If you buy this product you almost never have to buy eye shadow again. You can order it at

Faces Sparkle Dust:
These are my favourite eye shadows, I use them every day. My all time favourite being the gold sparkle dust number 2. This eye shadow gives you vibrant shades that go on very smooth. People always stop me and ask where I got my eye shadow and makeup and when they do this is the shadow I am usually wearing. Each individual eye shadow is about $10 and you can also buy a tower of eye shadows for $15-$25. The individual eye shadows last a long time, I`ve had mine for 3 years and I still have so much left! You can get them at the Faces store or Kiosks in selected malls in Canada.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer:
I cannot put my eye shadow on without this amazing primer. Once you try this product I doubt you will be able to live without it either. It makes your eye shadow go on smooth, it makes it last a long time and not smudge or come off.  It also makes the color of the eye shadow more vibrant and standout. It is sold for about $20 but one tube will last a long time. You can purchase it at Sephora.

Revlon Color Stay Eyeliner:
This is a pencil eyeliner but it goes on nothing like regular pencil eyeliners. This eyeliner glides on smooth and give you strong bold lines. It`s comes with a built in sharpener which I never need because it twists to give you more so you don`t really need to sharpen it. It is also lasts a long time and doesn’t smudge. It cost about $11 At Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Loreal Voluminous False Lashes:
I love the look of thick beautiful lashes but I hate wearing false lashes because I find them uncomfortable and sometimes a bit heavy on my lids; so I was very happy when I found this mascara. I like that this products gives you a lot of length and has fibres that make your lashes look fuller giving you the appearances of false lashes. I apply several coats until I achieve my desired effect. It is sold for about $8

Spa Resource Body Butter:  I like to moisturize my skin and keep it healthy. I really enjoy the body butters from Spa Resource. They have larger sizes for use all over your body and also sell small compact sizes you can keep in the car or in your purse. The body butters are creamy and thick and really helps manage dry skin. They also come in a variety of scents that smell very tropical and fragrant. Prices vary depending on size, it costs about $1.50 for the small and $6 for the larger size, I believe this brand is owned solely by Walmart and can usually be found in the cosmetics section.

Wet n Wild Fast Dry Nail polish
I don`t like waiting around forever for my nail polish to dry so I only use the fast drying ones. These Wet n Wild polishes come in a large variety of colors and they dry fast and shiny. They also last quite a while when you use a no chip top coat. They sell for about $2.99 each
Studio Sculpt Foundation by MAC:  This is the foundation I use every day. I like that the foundation is lightweight but full coverage. It also contains SPF 15 to give your skin some added protection and when used with a face primer and a foundation brush it gives you a wonderfully flawless appearance. It cost about $35

Nexxus Humectress Deep Conditioner:
I know I have already spoken about this product but it is my favourite deep conditioner. It helps restore moisture and softness to my hair leaving it shiny and manageable. It also smells good and when I use it my hair feels rejuvenated. It`s about $13

Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray:
As I mentioned in my blog about hair care if you use heat styling tools it is imperative to have a good heat protectant. This is my favourite because it doesn’t leave a build up on my hair, it leaves my hair soft, it smells fantastic, and the spray nozzle distributes the products in a very effective mist. It`s also very cheap at about $3.96 per bottle

  Chi Silk Infusion and Chi Keratin Mist:
I use both these products on my hair frequently and I like how they make my hair feel. They definitely add more shine and softness to the hair.
The Silk infusion is about $35 for the 300ml bottle and the keratin mist is about $11-12 dollars for the 300ml bottle you can get them at beauty supply stores and certain department stores.

Boar Bristle Brush:This is the only brush I use. It’s great at making your hair feel soft and silky and it helps distribute the natural oils which helps make your hair healthy. I got mine for about $12 at Winners by Organic Spa but you can get them at beauty supply stores

Hair Gear Advanced Two Conditioning and Hydrating Shampoo:
Those of you who know about Laureth Sulfate know that it is the detergent in most shampoos that allows the shampoo to foam and lather; but it is also the ingredient that strips the healthy natural oils from your hair leaving it dry and brittle. This shampoo is SULFATE FREE and is rich in organic botanicals. It offers UV protection as well as a list of wonderful ingredients such as: basil, chamomile, aloe, rosemary, wheat protein, keratin, jojoba oil, ginseng, primrose, lavender, biotin sage and the list goes on and on!! The shampoo helps to strengthen and condition damaged hair and leaves your hair feeling clean. You can purchase it at beauty supply stores and Winners.

Betsyville makeup bags:
These makeup bags by Betsy Johnson are really cute for taking makeup on the go. You can get them in all sizes, shapes and colors. I like the funky designs and bold patterns. I received mine as a gift so I`m not sure of the cost.

Pandora Charm Bracelet:
This bracelet is a great idea for a gift. I like that the charms are round and unobtrusive unlike many charm bracelets with the charms sticking out all over the place. It is also a gift that keeps on giving; you can buy a charm for special events and create a wonderful memories.

Skinny Girl Sangria:
For the last few get-togethers with my friends we have opted for this Sangria. It tastes good and it also has reduced calories so you don’t have to feel so guilty about enjoying a drink. It cost about $12 per bottle.

I am just going to list some of the perfumes that I have been using and the scents that I favour. I like perfumes that smell good but aren`t too strong and overpoweringly sweet, floral or citrusy. I like a nice subtle scent and these are my favourites and the ones that I get tons of compliments on.

Armani Code

Friction fcuk

Betsey Johnson

Ed Hardy

Paris Hilton

Vera Wang, Princess

Bag Hook:
When you go out to dinner or for cocktails you can`t always find a convenient place for your purse. These bag hooks are great at hanging your bag right at the edge of a table and off the floor. They come in a variety of designs and prices.

Aquafina Plus Vitamins 10 Cal.
If you workout, and have an active lifestyle then it`s a good idea to keep hydrated. This water comes in flavours that taste good but also gives you the vitamins your body needs such as Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B5, B3, B6 and B12

Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap:
This is my favourite hand soap to have in my bathrooms. They smell amazing and they have tons of great scents with creamy anti-bacterial protection for your hands.

Kashi Granola Bars, dark chocolate coconut:

These are my favourite granola bars! They are made with natural wholesome ingredients and taste amazing. The chocolate and coconut is my favourite but there are other flavours that are also very good.  

Heys Luggae:
I travel a lot so I need luggage that is durable, comes with a good warranty and looks nice. I love the Heys hard sided luggage for its durability and also the crafty wheels that swivel in all directions allowing you to pull the suit case with very little effort. The hard shell also helps protect your clothes from moisture and rain. The cost of this one was originally $239.99 but I got mine on sale at Sears for $110. The best time to buy luggage is when there is a sale you can save a considerable amount!

Bath salts are great for the skin! When you take a bath with your favorite bubble bath sprinkle some in the water & when you get out your skin feels amazing. Side note: when I travelled to the Caribbean & swam in the sea the natural salt water did some amazing things to my hair and skin! The salt and minerals from the salty Caribbean Sea acted as a natural conditioner leaving my hair and skin incredibly soft! So the next time you travel to the Caribbean get in the water and get your hair wet!

I love exfoliating gloves. When used in the shower with your favorite body wash they provide wonderful full body exfoliation.

Vaseline is not only great for dry lips, rashes or burns but it is also great for moisturizing the skin. It’s said that applying Vaseline to your lashes helps moisturize them so that they can grow longer and thicker. It`s also said that applying Vaseline around your cuticles before applying nail polish will help keep the nail polish from sticking to the skin around your nails. I like using it on my face at night, it makes my skin look great the next morning and doesn’t clog my pores.

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